Coun­sel­ing cen­ter set to ex­pand in Mont­gomery Town­ship

North Penn Life - - Opinion - By Brian Binga­man bbinga­man@jour­nal­reg­is­ter. com

One year later they need more room.

Af­ter open­ing last year in the Her­itage Ex­ec­u­tive Cam­pus off Bethlehem Pike, the Coun­sel­ing Cen­ter at Her­itage in Mont­gomery Town­ship is set to ex­pand this fall.

Owner Dr. Tina Paone, who lives in the town­ship, an­nounced that the cen­ter will add three ther­apy rooms and an ad­di­tional wait­ing room — gain­ing 800 square feet — so that there will be sep­a­rate wait­ing rooms for chil­dren and adults. She’s also look­ing to ex­pand her H[LstLNG stDII RI fivH ORFDO coun­selors.

An in­crease in child pa­tients is the main rea­son. The ex­pan­sion will al­low CCH to ac­com­mo­date more child ther­apy ses­sions.

“Child-cen­tered play ther­apy in a room might look to some­one else look­ing in ... as though the child is lead­ing the ses­sion,” Paone said, not­ing that chil­dren as young as 2 or 3 years old can benH­fit IrRP SODy tKHrDSy.

“The ther­a­pist sits in the back cor­ner of the ses­sion [room] where the child plays. They get to choose ... what they want to play with and how they want to play with it. Of course there are lim­its set. It al­lows a child to de­velop a sense of self and a sense of con­trol of their out­side world.”

The cen­ter got its start when Paone, a reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor to Main Line Par­ent Mag­a­zine and an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of coun­sel­ing, re­al­ized the need for ac­ces­si­ble men­tal health ser­vices for Mont­gomery County res­i­dents. The full-ser­vice coun­sel­ing cen­ter ad­dresses the needs of chil­dren, ado­les­cents and fam­i­lies, from potty train­ing troubles to anx­i­ety.

“Right now we start get- ting into back to school anx­i­ety,” she said.

Cus­tom­ized ther­apy op­tions in­clude tra­di­tional ap­point­ments, ex­pres­sive art ses­sions and play ther­apy. Paone and the CCH team have suc­cess­fully worked with fam­i­lies deal­ing with di­vorce-re­lated tran­si­tion, autism spec­trum dis­or­ders and symp­toms of ADD/ADHD.

In many cases of sus­pected ADHD among chil­dren, it isn’t ADHD that is the prob­lem and par­ent­ing point­ers are sug­gested. For ex­am­ple, if a child is act­ing out at home, but not at school, it’s not ADHD, Paone said.

Lo­cated at 595 Bethlehem Pike, the cen­ter now ac­cepts most ma­jor health in­sur­ance plans, in­clud­ing Aetna, Amer­iHealth, Blue Cross/ Blue Shield, Cigna, hey­stone Health Plan East, Mag­el­lan and Per­sonal Choice.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www. coun­selin­gather­itage. com.

Photo by GE­OFF PATTON

Dr. Tina Paone shows off a play ther­apy area at the Coun­sel­ing Cen­ter at Her­itage in Mont­gomery Town­ship Aug. 15.

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